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ASENATH (Heb. אָסְנַת; meaning in Egyptian, "she belongs to, or is the servant of, [the goddess] Neith"), daughter of Poti-Phera, the high priest of On (Heliopolis). Asenath, at Pharaoh's instance, married Joseph (Gen. 41:45, et al.). She bore Joseph two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, during the seven years of plenty (41:50; 46:20). For the rabbinic attitude to Asenath, see *Joseph (in aggadah).


W. Spiegelberg, Aegyptologische Randglossen zum Alten Testament (1904), 18–19; J. Vergote, Joseph en Egypte (Fr., 1959), 148 ff.; N.M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis (1966), 221. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Redford, Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (1992), 424; V. Aptowitzer, in: HUCA, 1 (1924), 239–306.

[Nahum M. Sarna]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.